After Justinian's conquest of Italy, bishop Agnellus presented anew to Ravenna the church formerly called “Golden Heaven.” Once the palace church of Theoderic, Italy's erstwhile Ostrogothic king, the basilica now honored Saint Martin, the warrior whose sixth-century reputation for fighting Arianism helped the bishop emphasize the triumph of imperial Byzantine orthodoxy over Italy, Vandal Africa, and the southern coast of Visigothic Spain.1 In order to accentuate the point, new interior mosaics depicted Martin leading a procession of male martyrs along the south wall toward the enthroned Christ while a line of female martyrs march along the north wall toward the Virgin. Among these women, most of whom hailed from Ravenna,...

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